Napa Wine

 

There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area “Wappo,” and some say this is a derivation of “guapo” meaning “handsome,” while others say it means “brave,” with Napa being a further spin-off. Another legend is that Napa is a Wappo word for the land itself. Regardless, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, this land eventually became one of the most important wine regions in the world. 
 
The first vineyards in Napa were planted in 1836 by George Calvert Yount in what is now the town of Yountville. In the 1850s, Thomas Rutherford, who married Yount’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Yount, established the first vineyard in what would become Rutherford town. The first commercial winery was established by Charles Krug in the 1860s. Soon, the likes of Inglenook, Beringer and Schramsberg and many others set up their wineries Read more »

Mentor for Napa Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (www.grapevinestudios.blogspot.com).

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stags Leap District

      Stags Leap District is located on the famous Silverado Trail of the Napa Valley region in ...

  • Yountville

    To the south of Oakville and comprised virtually entirely of valley floor land, Yountville is the...

Popular Wineries in Napa View all

  • John Anthony Vineyards

    In 1997 John Anthony Truchard began leasing and managing vineyard property with the idea of one d...

  • Beaucanon Estate

    Situated in beautiful Napa Valley, on the historic Longwood Ranch, Beaucanon Estate reflects the ...

  • William Hill Winery

    William Hill Estate Winery carries forward a 30-year philosophy of crafting elegant Napa Valley w...

  • Three Thieves

    You may have heard the tale of the Three Thieves, three regular guys who threw away centuries of ...

  • T-Vine Cellars

    We are a very small winery located off the beaten path in Calistoga, behind the owner - winemaker...

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Today I attended one of my favorite tastings of the year, the Taste Napa Valley tour, where I tasted no lessthan 65 great to wonderful wines, mostly King Cabernet himself. I have listed the high lights of the day here. More will follow. 2005 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Gorgeous fruit forward with a lush mouth feel. Dense currant with...

    Comment by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


  • Hartwell Estate Miste Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Enjoyable, albeit, chewy wine. Dark fruit--blackberry more than currant--with a slight tang. Some suggestion of anise. Tannins are almost completely resolved. Not the longest finish in the world, but just so easy to enjoy. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • We haven't been to Seattle in a number of years and would love to ... ... contacts in Sonoma, Paso and Napa, just going to depend on the timing but I'm always up for a road (or air) tri Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Face to Face Club - a...


  • Silverado Vineyards Merlot Mt George Napa Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of red fruit, on entry--strawberry, cherry. Negligible tannin and acid. Moderate body. It doesn't suck, but, for the price, it is a bit disappointing. It just tastes like grape juice, not wine, Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • "Walla Walla is amazing.  But it is about a 5 hour drive from ... ... home days, but then so would Napa/Sonoma and even more so the Santa Barbara/Ojai/Santa Maria areas. Home bases by someone(s) in the group are good anchors to rely on--if that's intelligible. Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Face to Face Club - a...


  • I agree with you both - if we are talking about entry-level, everyday wines - ... - ... as well as branding (Napa, Sonoma, maybe certain coastal areas such as Santa Barbara).  There are deals out there - but I was only generalizing, if you'll pardon that bit of laziness for the moment.I don't always vet my messages like in the past (time cons... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Jammy


  • Barnett Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mouintain District 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Nicely mellowed. The years have been kind. Black fruit on entry. Then, some leather. Tannin is nicely settled down. I bit more back of the palate tartness than I might have guessed. Also a retro-nasal suggestion of anise. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Seattle's good, especially if some visits to reachable wineries could be ... join??  ;-) ;-)Sonoma/Napa is, of course, far more concentrated. Or Santa Barbara/Santa Rita/Paso for that matter.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Face to Face Club - a...


  • I think that's true. There's a lot of new money getting into the wine ... many have.But once you leave Napa, it's not so bad. There is actually a lot of good wine sloshing around CA these days (and if you're like me an peruse the clearance bins, even more), so the QPR is a little skewed unless you leave Napa out.That said, you can still get pr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Jammy


  • Opus One Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley 2003

    Snoothrank:

    A bottle of questionable provenance. My brother-in-law found it in an estate with a few other bottles that were not quite as expensive. So, this wine was clearly past its prime. It was slightly sour, but the the disappointing thing is that it completely lacked character. It was "watery"--no fruit flavors, not tannin, it must have had some ac... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Zuf - Pax was making that wine but he's concentrating on his name brand ... ... big and quite delicious Napa Cabs, I'm drinking a 2014 Mencia from Spain. Still a bit tannic, has a charcoal quality to it, not a fruit bomb at all, a nice drinking wine and we've gone through a few cases over the past yea Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


  • Every time I visit Napa I have a great time. Make sure you plan ahead though. The options can be overwhelming!

    Comment by 321328cablecars 321328 cablecars


  • Recently had a Darioush Duel Cabernet/Shiraz blend 2005 I bought it at the vineyard and it was wonderful Mmmmm

    Comment by 250806Grape Goddess 250806 Grape Goddess


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